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Instructional film on nuclear weapons for U.S. Air Force personnel. This part-animated film includes an explanation of nuclear physics; footage of atmospheric and underground testing; and a bomber making a crash landing.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Cinefonics, Inc.
Sponsor: U.S. Air Force
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Atomic-nuclear: Weapons; Aviation: Military; Animation: Scientific
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Narrated by Ken Nordine!
Subject: Stay Safe, Stay Strong
besides all the physics, etc., etc., i was struck by:
1. the "lightning quick" computers and the (apparently also "lightning quick") slide rule;
2. the earnest voice which narrates the film. i think he really believed all of this (i think for the most part this was true as far as they knew in 1960).
Arvid Rudling -
Subject: Not the whole picture...
This film is clearly a product of its day and for an intended audience. The obvious question "how are we protected against accidental launch" is cleverly left out of the argumentation!
While the cases of lost bombs mentioned do not contain all the facts, the physics theories presented are accurate (as far as I know).
Subject: THESE ARE THE FACTS (Not a ufolawyer review)
Curious film about how 'safe' nuclear weapons are in peacetime. Convincing demonstrations are shown about if they are dropped accidentally or what have you, (and in this film, they admit they have), there may be an explosion or what have you, but there will be no nuclear contamination. Which makes it all right. THESE ARE THE FACTS! (this is repeated non stop). If the guy in the bow tie says so, then it must be true.
Subject: Safe and sound...
This is a great introduction to the 'safety' features built into atomic weapons.
These 'features' are more or less the inherent properties of the weapons themselves that do prohibit accidental explosions of the weapons.
There have been hundreds of nuclear weapons lost or damaged over the years, and NONE of them have accidentally exploded, or leaked harmful fall-out over the environment. This reel shows some interesting tests that were performed to verify the stability of nuclear weapons in plane crashes and fires.
If you're nervous about an accidental discharge or detonation of nuclear weapons, then watch this reel. There is a bonus in that the reel demonstrates how nuclear weapons are implemented.
Of course what isnÂt discussed is the US GovernmentÂs policy (during the time of this film) regarding the ownership of the decision to use the weapons of mass destruction. For example, did the B-52 bombardierÂs have the control, or was this a remotely controlled decision of SAC or the white house?
Subject: hartze11 is wrong... WAY WRONG
hartze11 wrote "There have been hundreds of nuclear weapons lost or damaged over the years, and NONE of them have accidentally exploded, or leaked harmful fall-out over the environment."
HOGWASH! There are nuclear weapons sitting at the bottoms of several oceans just rotting away doing God-knows what. A US B-52 crashed in Greenland that had 4 nuclear bombs on-board that scattered and burnt spreading radiation.
I won't waste your time by telling you that there have been many nuclear accidents resulting in plutonium radiation/contamination of even OUR soil.
The purpose of the video was to quell fears over many nuclear accidents. One bomb accidently dropped on a farm in South Carolina. It's trigger mechanism exploded on impact and left a crater 70' wide and 30' deep. Here's a link to "Nuclear accidents"
Click on "Bombs and Bombers" or read the whole page if you want to shake your head in shame. Keep in mind that this is only a partial list (I'd hate to see the whole thing). Prior to 1960 there are several instances where nuclear weapons have been "accidently" dropped and the trigger mechanisms (8k LBs of TNT) have left craters and scattered radiation.. If you go to the site, read "22 January 1968" for sure. America at it's BEST!
Subject: Dated Material, Fails to Discuss Safety Devices
As a former nuclear weapons specialist, I couldn't wait to watch this film. However, I was disappointed in the lack of discussion detailing safety devices such as baro switches, ready/safe switches, inertial switches, radar, timer's, and other components that go into the design of each weapon. Since this film was shot in 1960, it predates Permissive Action Link devices (the Human Reliability Program was implemented a few year's earlier). Also, in 1960 the shapes of nuclear weapons were still classified.
A great resource is the High Energy Weapons Archive web site, which goes into some detail on nuclear weapons and safety devices. Also, you may wish to purchase films from the DOE Historical Nuclear Weapons Film web site.